The 100th Anniversary Celebration for the First State Bank of Paint Rock was held June 12, 2010, at the bank’s main office in Paint Rock, Texas. A fish dinner was served to more than 600 friends and customers, and dozens of door prizes were awarded. The crowd relaxed under tents and listened to local musician “picking and grinning.” Children enjoyed the bouncy house, and everyone seemed to have a good time, which was, after all, the point of the celebration.
The First State Bank of Paint Rock was founded because the employees of the First National Bank of Paint Rock were prone to discuss everyone’s banking business “on the street.” The organizational meeting for Guaranty State Bank was held on October 18, 1909, and the bank opened for business in April, 1910. In the December, 2009 meeting the board of directors established a policy that any employee who talked banking business outside the bank would be fired. The bank has tried hard to maintain this policy of strict privacy for our clients since its beginnings. The First National Bank closed in 1918. In 1925 Guaranty State Bank changed its name to the First State Bank of Paint Rock.
The primary force behind the formation of the bank was R. T. Trail, a rancher who came to Concho County (for his health) in the late 1870s from Washington, D.C. He served as President from 1910 until his death in December, 1930. J. M. Patton picked up the reins in January, 1931, and served until his death in February, 1962. Mr. Patton guided the bank through the Great Depression before the days of FDIC insurance, a feat he accomplished by setting the bank on a path of being very prudent and conservative in its lending and investment policies and stubbornly loyal to good customers beset by the hard times that West Texas weather and fickle markets deliver to the Concho Valley’s ranchers and farmers. He chose his customers wisely and supported them tenaciously, and the bank prospered and grew.
Following in the footsteps of these great men, who set the bank on a solid foundation and developed a good business model for banking in the Concho Valley, O.L. Sims, P. W. Williams, James A. Trail (son of our founder), Wendell Franke, Robert V. Carothers, Wade Clifton (who married the granddaughter of our founder), and Al Lovell have all served as President. The present management team of Wade Clifton, Al Lovell and Dean McIntyre has been in place since April, 1992, and has guided the bank through a remarkable period of growth and prosperity as well as the opening of a branch bank in San Angelo.
Because there were only 14 stockholders in 1950, the stock is still held by fewer than 75 families, which allowed the bank to convert to SubChapter S status beginning in January, 2010. Our largest stockholder owns only 10% of the stock in the bank, so we are still largely a democratic organization dedicated to serving our communities with old fashioned integrity and modern technology.